Anakie, Rubyvale and Sapphire are town names officially registered in the Queensland Place Names Register and administered by the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) under the Place Names Act 1994 (Qld).
‘The Gemfields’ is the bounded locality, officially registered under the Place Names Act 1994 (Qld). A bounded locality is defined by specific physical boundaries that act as reference points.
Anakie, Rubyvale and Sapphire are the three towns within ‘The Gemfields’ bounded locality.
The bounded locality was created 20 years ago during a national push to ensure that all of Australia is bounded for location and wayfinding purposes. Furthermore, it is thought to have a connection to the roll out of Telstra’s mobile phone infrastructure at the time.
Feedback from current stakeholders that were engaged in tourism and community development at the time claim that there was little public consultation throughout the change. Since then, communities within ‘The Gemfields’ bounded locality have experienced address related problems that can be associated with the locality itself.
Problems associated with the bounded locality encompassing the three towns include:
In 2017, Rubyvale Progress Association undertook a petition in Rubyvale and Sapphire seeking to resolve the problems. The petition was submitted to council counting 547 signatures, around 42 percent of ‘The Gemfields’ residents aged 19 and over.
The Gemfields Bounded Locality project seeks the following outcomes
At this stage, the proposal will be the creation of three new bounded localities to represent the towns of Anakie, Sapphire and Rubyvale and surrounding areas.
It has been identified that the Fairbairn Dam community is both within ‘The Gemfields’ and ‘Gindie’ bounded localities. Similar issues to those experienced in Sapphire, Rubyvale and Anakie have been reported. It’s proposed to realign the locality boundaries and move the community into the exiting ‘Emerald’ bounded locality.
A final proposal will be submitted to the state government for processing.
The following project activities have commenced and/ or are proposed:
It is important to note that the project does not seek changes to town names or postcodes.
Frequently asked questions
How will the Willows be affected?
As there are currently no indications that the problems experienced with ‘The Gemfields’ locality directly impact ‘The Willows’ locality, there are no proposed changes to the bounded locality ‘The Willows’.
There are known issues with re-routing mail to ‘The Willows’ not intended for that locality that are caused by the lack of names for the Rubyvale, Anakie and Sapphire communities.
Will the town names be changed?
No, the town names of Rubyvale, Anakie and Sapphire will not be changed.
Why can there just be new bounded localities called Sapphire and Anakie?
There are clear constraints, rules and guidelines for the national register of bounded localities that do not allow the duplication of names.
How long will it the process take?
A report will be brought to council after the consultation period in April. Depending on the resolution, a request will be sent to the Minister in May. The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy will then process the request. Community representatives have worked closely with the department to address any procedural issues in advance.
More information about the department’s process and additional supporting information can be found here: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/land/title/place-names/naming
Why would there be changes to the Emerald bounded locality?
The Fairbairn Dam community near Emerald is part of both ‘The Gemfields’ and ‘Gindie’ localities. Similar issues to those experienced in Sapphire, Rubyvale and Anakie have been reported there. There is an opportunity to carry out additional administrative re-alignments within the project.
Council and community representatives are currently working with stakeholders in the Fairbairn Dam community to validate the issues and identify potential changes. This is unlikely to have an impact on anyone other than the Fairbairn Dam community.
Why can’t there be separate postcodes instead or additional to a bounded locality change?
Problems experienced stem from the bounded locality name, not the postcode. Changes to postcodes are only considered when problems are connected directly to the postcode.
What will indicate the success of this project?
Part of the project is a proposed review to determine the overall success and to identify any further actions required.
From March to September 2019, more than 63 kilometres of sewerage pipes will be assessed with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
Any pipeline defects identified will be placed on a forward program for quick renewal or replacement.
Residents can expect to see GeoRadar employees lifting manholes, running camera lines and viewing images from monitors in their vans.
Traffic control will be in place where required.
(click for detailed map)
Segments to be surveyed
Length of pipe surveyed (m)
Survey time frame
March – April
April – May
May – June
June – August
August – September
Rolleston will not be part of the assessment as its sewer system, built in 2008, remains in good condition.
Council engaged ACS Engineers to undertake stormwater drainage master planning for the Yamala Enterprise Area and associated studies. The area is a proposed primary development area and regional transport hub (more info below).
This plan is intended to provide high level guidance for the design and approval of stormwater management infrastructure for the site.
The Yamala Enterprise Area refers collectively to a parcel of land identified in the Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme comprising of 360 hectares of land zoned ‘special industry’ and a further 1640 hectares of land zoned ‘industry investigation’.
The initial stage involves a major upgrade to the intersection of the Capricorn Highway and Bonnie Doon Road, construction of a 1.5 kilometre rail siding and an upgrade to Bonnie Doon Road for access to the site.
This infrastructure is a critical enabler to allow the intermodal port to proceed.
Located 22 kilometres east of Emerald, the area is strategically located to service supply chain operators and producers, maximising existing infrastructure networks with direct access to the Capricorn Highway (via Bonnie Doon Road) and major freight rail network.
The 360 hectares of land zoned ‘special industry’ incorporates the Louis Dreyfus Cotton Gin, an 8-stand cotton ginning operation, and pending State Government support will feature:
– An inter-modal freight facility, the CQ Inland Port
– A state-of-art grain facility and rail siding providing fast 36-hour train cycling time to Gladstone, the ability to handle longer 42 wagon unit trains without shunting wagons and higher capacity wagons in the future, and efficiently handle local grain away from the Emerald urban areas.
– An initial 11 industrial lots ranging in size from 10,000m2 to 40,000m2
In partnership with the developers of the CQ Inland Port (CQIP) and GrainCorp, Central Highlands Regional Council has committed to provide extensive support to the development of the greenfield Yamala Enterprise Area.
Subsequently, council has secured State Government support of $4.415M through Building our Regions Infrastructure Fund, Round 3 to kick start the Yamala Enterprise Area.
Funding for the Effluent Irrigation Extension Project has been secured under the state government Building Our Regions funding program will bring the Blackwater Sewage Treatment Plant in line with environmental requirements for the discharge of treated waste water.
Council funded the first stage of this project and will match the $1.2 million in state government funding for stage two.
We identified two sites whereby treated effluent could be discharged, being the
areas of the Hunter Street Sports Precinct and the nearby Blackwater Golf Course and adjoining Blackwater Model/Aero/Heli/Car Club.
Following detailed analysis, we resolved to deliver a two-stage process to meet environmental requirements:
The Queensland Government have announced $790k in funding for the Central Highlands Regional Floodways Program to improve the resilience of the rural road network.
Council will match this funding to deliver the project which involves the construction of concrete floodways at twenty four sites in the region to provide safe crossing during wet weather.
Concrete floodways provide channelised drainage points in which overland run off water may cross the road providing a suitable and safe crossing for vehicles traveling along the network. Thus, these works aim to reduce the time in which residents are impacted and/or isolated during wet weather events.
Nominated sites have been identified by reviewing digital mapping of previous flood events and locating those which consistently become damaged following rain events. These sites present a recurring issue when considering access for the rural remote community into regional centres.
Construction works will take approximately four months to complete, and include:
The establishment of a meat processing facility near Emerald will enable processing of high quality beef products to supply well-established markets in Australia and overseas.
Central Highlands Development Corporation is coordinating this project on behalf of council. Visit the project page for updates.
Stage one of this project began on 18 March 2017 and was estimated to last three weeks but will now take longer due to recent weather events.
It involves removal of the surface and application of a new surface layer on the main runway ‘Taxiway Bravo’ and aircraft parking bays one and two. This work will extend the life of the current main runway, improve safety, quality and compliance and ensure that Emerald airport remains a viable and reliable community asset. The financial outlay for stage one of the project is approximately $300,000.
Stage two of the project is planned to commence at the end of 2017. This will see both ends of the runway fully reconstructed at a cost of approximately $4.95M. We have been successful in gaining Queensland Government funding to the value of $2.2M for this project under Building Better Regions Fund.
The overall project will extend the life of the airport infrastructure, improve quality and safety and confirms council’s ongoing commitment to maintain and grow our vibrant region.
More than $2.6 million will help kick off 27 infrastructure projects in the Central Highlands, as part of the Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland program.
Upgrades to the Emerald Botanical Gardens, improved facilities at Capella’s Bridgeman Park and new playground equipment for Rubyvale are just some of the local projects approved today under the funding.
Mayor Cr Kerry Hayes said the announcement would fast-track these important projects, but also create a big boost for jobs across the region.
These works are now complete and provide better road safety for motorists using the Gregory Highway and the Airport Road. The completed works included widening of the highway at the entrance to Emerald Airport, the addition of turning lanes, additional street lighting and improved road markings.
The project completes another phase of council’s commitment to improving and upgrading infrastructure throughout the region.
The Blackwater Aquatic Centre is part of the Hunter Street Sports Precinct and was jointly funded by Central Highlands Regional Council, the Australian Government and BMA.
The centre was officially opened on Saturday 4 March 2017. It features a 50 metre partially covered pool, a 25 metre covered and heated pool, a zero-depth splash pad for the little kids, a community meeting room, kiosk, amenities, a courtyard and covered dining areas.
Approximately 310 000 cubic metres of soil was removed from the Nogoa River around Emerald as part of the river improvement strategy
Emerald residents said they felt strongly about clearing out the river as a form of flood risk management during a series of public information sessions that the Central Highlands Regional Council hosted last year.
According to modelling by engineering company KBR, localised flooding reductions of up to 30 centimetres in a flood the size of the 2010-11 event could be expected.
New Street in Emerald was raised to provide the highest and driest access point for vehicles and pedestrians from the area lying south of the railway line into the town centre.
The three-month project to replace the bridge over Herbert Creek on Boolburra Edungalba Road is now complete, with the road opening to motorists from Friday 23 December 2016.
The $1.25 million project involved removal of the existing timber bridge and replacing with a concrete structure as well as the stabilisation and resurfacing of the approaches. The new bridge will provide improved flood access for motorists in the Boolburra and Edungalba communities, particularly ahead of the upcoming storm season.
The project was jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments as part of the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements in association with Central Highlands Regional Council.
Watch 3 months work condensed into 2 minutes in the timelapse video below.
This project developed the wetland reserve into a focused recreation attraction. Works included the construction of new walking trails, wetland viewing areas, bird hide, fencing, educational and directional signage and a new car park.
The project was funded: $109, 636 by the Australian Government and $157,861 by Central Highlands Regional Council and was officially opened on the 26 April 2018.
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